BIOL 4100 Honours

Kendra (2018-2019, advisor G. Goldsborough) collecting seawater samples to assess primary production in the Kitikmeot Sea in the Canadian Arctic.


Honours students experience scientific research, from the inception and planning stages through experimental execution, data analysis, written reporting and oral communication. They receive support from and are evaluated by their Honours committee which consists of an advisor and two additional committee members.

2018-2019 Course Information

2018-2019 Orientation Presentation, 2018-2019 Course Outline

Awards for Outstanding Honours Work

Shirley Ann Akins Undergraduate Thesis Proposal Prize

$500-$1000 will be awarded to each of the top applicants to support their honours thesis work. Candidates must be enrolled in BIOL 4100 and will be required to submit an electronic application to Jay Kormish ( deadline = September 21, 2018 by 4:30 pm. More information about the Akins award.

The application should include:

  1. A summary of the Honours research proposal (maximum 500 words) written exclusively by the student.
  2. A signed note/email from the thesis supervisor confirming that the student has written the proposal summary without input from the supervisor and will implement the thesis research.

Dr. Lane Graham Prize for Best Honours Thesis

An annual ~$1475 award for the best honours thesis, which is decided by the Honours Committee after the final oral defense. Upon his retirement from the Department of Biological Sciences, Dr. Graham set up an endowment to support this award. Dr. Graham came to the University of Manitoba in 1970, and taught Introductory Biology, Invertebrate Zoology and Parasitology. He always considered the Honours Thesis to be an important component in the training of a scientist in Biology, and felt strongly that the best and brightest young students should be recognized for their achievements. See this webpage for more information.


The Ronald K. Stewart-Hay Memorial Bursary

$4500 available for students who have completed year 3 of study in BSc Honours and are currently enrolled full time in the Honours programme. It requires demonstrated academic excellence (no minimum GPA cut-off), and demonstrated financial need. See this website for more information.


Guidelines for Honours Supervisors

Students receive feedback from their committee during two formal meetings before the final defense. Forms to be completed by each committee member:

Proposal Evaluation form

Progress Report form

Final Evaluation form


See the variety of topics 56 honours students have pursued: 2014-2015, 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and the variety of field locations where alumni did their research.

Neil Balchan (2nd from left; 2017-2018, advisor K. Fraser) gave an oral presentation "Snakes on a Plain: Fall Phenology at a Northern Communal Hibernaculum" at the International Herpetological Symposium in Rodeo, New Mexico, USA. He was awarded a Junior Herper Award that covered conference fees, airfare, and accommodations.



Shek Hei Yuan (2016-2017, advisor J. Anderson) published a first author paper in Oncotarget (2018: 9:22618-22630).

Tim Gingera (2012–2013, advisor M. Docker) published a first author paper in Journal of Great Lakes Research (2016, 42: 649–659).

Laura Eliuk (2016-2017, advisor J. Detwiler) won best undergraduate oral presentation at the Rocky Mountain Conference of Parasitologists Sept 8-10, 2016 at the Cedar Point Biological Station, Ogallala, NE, USA.

Paige Anderson (2015-2016, co-advisors S. Renault and J. Markham) presented her research at the 2016 Canadian Botanical Association Conference, Botany on the Edge, in Victoria, BC.

Matthew Martens (2015-2016) won the bronze prize for his poster presentation at Child Health Research Day hosted by the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba.

Alex Quijada-Rodriquez (2011-2012, advisor D. Wiehrauch) published a first author paper in the American Physiology Journal (2015, DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00482.2014).

Rachel Donnelly and Nikola Svitlica (2014-2015, advisor J. Detwiler) presented their honours projects as oral and poster presentations, respectively at the 2015 American Society of Parasitologists meeting in Omaha, NE. Rachel received the Marc Dresden Travel award from ASP and Undergraduate Travel Support from the University of Manitoba to attend this meeting.

Stephanie Hans (2012-2013, advisor D. Wiehrauch) published a first author paper in Marine Biology (2014, 161:1179 - 1193).

Ashley Haverstick (2015-2016, advisor J. Marcus) won the Deborah McCallum Prize in Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology, which is for achieving the highest degree grade point average in an Honours or Major degree program specializing in Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology in the Dept. of Biological Sciences.


Marissa (2018-2019, advisor G. Davoren) collecting stomach, muscle, and liver samples to assess the diet of cod in Newfoundland.

Upcoming Seminars

General seminar: Paige Kowal, MSc Defense: “A historical analysis of the changes in connectivity and plant cover in Netley-Libau Marsh, Manitoba, Canada: Distinguishing the effects of Lake Winnipeg and Red River hydrologyon...” — Friday, March 1 at 8:30 a.m., 304 Biological Sciences.

General seminar: Dr. Geoff Wasteneys: “Exploring Cell Proliferation in Root Apical Meristems: The role of cytoskeletonhormone feedback systems” — Friday, March 1 at 11:30 a.m., 205 Armes.

General seminar: Christophe Lemoine: “TBA” — Friday, March 1 at 3:30 p.m., 207 Buller.

General seminar: Crakerjack Seminar: “TBA” — Friday, March 8 at 3:30 p.m., 207 Buller.